Rail Infrastructure (North-east Scotland)

Enterprise, Lifelong Learning and Transport – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:17 pm on 9th March 2006.

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Photo of Nora Radcliffe Nora Radcliffe Liberal Democrat 2:17 pm, 9th March 2006

To ask the Scottish Executive what progress is being made in developing rail infrastructure, including Aberdeen crossrail services, in the north-east. (S2O-9200)

Photo of Tavish Scott Tavish Scott Liberal Democrat

With the support of Scottish Executive funding, the north-east Scotland transport partnership is leading the development of the Aberdeen crossrail proposal and is responsible for delivering the completed feasibility work by the end of 2006. Elsewhere in the north-east, the Scottish Executive and Transport Scotland are working closely with scheme promoters and rail industry partners on implementation of the Mossend to Elgin freight gauge enhancement scheme, the range of improvements to be delivered by the £40 million station improvement plan under the First ScotRail franchise agreement and the development of proposals to reopen Laurencekirk railway station.

Photo of Nora Radcliffe Nora Radcliffe Liberal Democrat

The crossrail project is about the movement of people, but the movement of freight is essential to the economy. The minister mentioned the Mossend to Elgin freight gauge enhancement scheme, which will enable freight to be moved on standard rolling stock. Can he give me any more information about how quickly the enhancements will be made?

Photo of Tavish Scott Tavish Scott Liberal Democrat

Nora Radcliffe makes a good point about the importance of freight and the benefits of the enhancement scheme, which will enable the track to be used in the way that she described. My understanding is that the project will be delivered by the summer of 2007 at a cost of about £4 million. If any additional information is available, I will be happy to write to Nora Radcliffe.